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Japan women target third place finish at World Cup

With the Women's World Cup beginning in Germany on Sunday, Japan skipper Homare Sawa says her side is targeting at least a third-place finish in the competition. The team came fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"I feel the time has come," the 32-year-old, Japan's most-capped female player, said.

"We want to produce a result that will be at least better than the last-four we reached in Beijing.

"A medal may be hard to come by. But we have no choice but to go for it. We will work hard and aim high."

The midfielder has played in all five previous Women's World Cups, with its best result being a run to the quarter-finals in 1995.

"I will be obsessed with our results. I want to continue running until I feel I have given it all," said Sawa, the 2004 and 2008 Asian player of the year, who has also played at three Olympics since 1996.

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Dave Williams

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